The holi (stick) deodorant that started an Agent Empire - Jena’s story

The holi (stick) deodorant that started an Agent Empire - Jena’s story

When I was 23 I was diagnosed with endometriosis and my whole world turned upside down because of a botched laparotomy surgery. Even though I thought I was health-conscious, my diagnosis with adenomyosis 11 years later completely shifted the way I thought about everything that went in and on my body. I knew I needed to go deeper and deeper into everything I was using - including my beauty products.

I started to learn about aluminum when I was just 16 through my dad- It’s incorporated into deodorants because it plugs your pores and helps minimize body odor by inhibiting the bacteria that live and feed on sweat. To be honest, I thought he sounded crazy when he told me to stay away from it. It stops you from sweating (which is a whole different issue that we will talk about in a later blog because we NEED to sweat. A study has shown that when we sweat, we sweat out a crazy number of things like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic that should not be kept inside the body).

I didn't begin searching for a natural deodorant until my diagnosis with adenomyosis. All of my natural doctors told me to stop using antiperspirant because it is an endocrine disruptor that can disrupt hormones, particularly estrogen. At the time, endometriosis and adenomyosis were thought to be estrogen-dependent diseases and that can be true- but it's not true for everyone and we are learning this as science continues to evolve. 

Aluminum is majorly problematic and is so toxic for our bodies. It is an endocrine disruptor (meaning it interferes with hormones causing issues like increased estrogen, thyroid imbalance, low libido, fatigue, mood instability, reproductive problems, and more). The dangers don’t stop there. It’s potentially hazardous for brain health and can promote neurodegeneration. A study in 1985 confirmed findings from an earlier one that suggested that those suffering from Alzheimer’s actually had high levels of aluminum in their brains.

A study, linked here, has suggested that the majority of breast cancers develop in the part of the breast that is closest to the underarm, and it is possible that ingredients from antiperspirants can get absorbed through the skin when razor nicks happen (as well as absorbed through the layers of the skin more generally). Once into the body, the toxic ingredients like aluminum then travel to the lymph nodes where they gather, try to drain, but often move into the breasts and into the wider body.

Aluminum isn’t the only problem with traditional deodorants, though. I also learned that there are many other potentially damaging and toxic chemicals like triclosan, propylene glycol, parabens, and phthalates in deodorants. I realized that so many things out there were driving inflammation in my body. 

At this point, I was determined to get rid of aluminum and other toxic chemicals. Today, I now honestly believe there’s no reason to need to use a toxic ingredient, especially on your underarms which can absorb literally everything applied.

The next step of my journey

I set out on an exhaustive search for an aluminum-free deodorant that actually worked. At the time there were hardly any luxury natural deodorants on the market, and the ones I tried failed me. So after much trial and error, I finally decided to make my own using pure, luxury ingredients that worked to banish odor and leave skin feeling healthier, softer, and more hydrated at the same time. 

I started formulating in my kitchen, with my friends and loved ones around me and my unique recipe quickly became in-demand by everyone! Before I knew it, I created and launched holi (stick) - my first ever aluminum-free deodorant as my hero product. The rest was history!

What makes them so good?

I spent a ton of time formulating to get this deodorant right. But, I am so proud of the ingredients and that they REALLY work.

I used coconut oil as a nourishing oil that contains a unique combination of fatty acids recognized for their health benefits. About 50% of these fatty acids are lauric acid, known to soothe dryness and restore the skin’s natural bacterial balance to reduce odor.

I paired this with avocado butter (produced from the flesh of the avocado fruit). It offers nature’s purest vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, and it is heavenly soft. This rich balm melts upon contact with the skin, leaving a hydrating layer with a velvety finish.

Castor oil was chosen to go into the formulation next. It is produced by cold-pressing seeds from the Ricinus communis plant, and this thick, natural oil is known to hydrate the skin and reduce odor-causing bacteria at the same time.

Finally, I went for lovely lavender. Lavandin is a natural hybrid of English lavender and spike lavender grown exclusively in the South of France (one of my favorite places in the world). It is cherished for its high essential oil production and its camphorous scent. It is a beautifully fragrant herb that radiates a clean, gentle aroma. It also balances the root chakra as well.

The rest of the range followed after that

We have released other variations of holi (stick):

*holi (rose) developed in partnership with skincare formulator Shiva Rose. I love this product because it prevents odor with a romantic blend of warming sandalwood and love-enhancing rose.

*holi (stick) sensitive - this was made for even the most sensitive skin types with essential oils of jasmine, bergamot, and sandalwood, free of baking soda.

*uni (sex) - perfect for the Agent Man and the Agent Woman, with a blend of cedarwood, Rosa Damascena, vetiver, and cistus, resulting in a complex scent with earthy top notes; and

*(aime) probiotic deodorant - created in collaboration with French aime skincare founder, Mathilde Lacombe, this gentle deodorant helps maintain skin’s natural bacterial balance to prevent odor. Full of live enzymes and beneficial bacteria, our nourishing oil, butter, and beeswax base is also inspired by the French Riviera, and it’s lauded by Vogue France as “un véritable must”.

After all this time, our pioneering holi (stick) is still a customer favorite, and it holds a major place in my heart because it’s where this incredible journey first began! 

Our agent deodorants are solid enough for battle.

I hope you love these non-toxic additions to your life as much as I do.

Love Jena x